Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Nov 15, 2007 06:36 AM

Dengeness Crab season opens after all

According to news reports this morning, crab fisherman began their season as originally scheduled after the Dept. of Fish and Game decided to allow it in area where the spill hasn't reached, which apparently means most of the commercial crab fishing area is unaffected. There is a catch, so to speak: they cannot offload the catch in San Francisco Bay, but must do it at Half Moon Bay or Bodega Bay.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Wow. Thanks for posting this.

    1. On Kron this morning they said that the fishermen are still not going out because the wholesalers are not going to buy the crab. They said there is a fear of legal action if the crab is tainted. Even though the crab beds are okay, they pump water through the holding tanks all the way back to the bay. It is still too risky they say.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Shane Greenwood

        Yes, it appears that the bottom line is that as far as the Dept. of Fish and Game is concerned, but as far as the San Francisco crabbers are concerned, it's not. Their SF Crab boat association's concerns may not be purely altruistic; they see themselves being put at a disadvantage vis-a-vis crab fishermen based at HMB or Bodega Bay.

        1. re: Xiao Yang

          I don't know if the crabbers going out are from San Francisco. I heard some reports that it's boats from the Northwest just anchored off site.

          As a consumer, I'd be wary about buying crab that passed through the Bay. Even though it was caught away from the spill, there's still question about how it gets to the Bay Area and weather the water will be contaminated.

      2. Another concern voiced by some crabbers was conservation of future harvests. The crabs that have turned up dead have been juveniles, and there's concern that if they harvest now the future generations won't be sufficient to replenish the next season.
        I know for us this year, it's just not going to make it on to our table. We feel it's best to lay off for a while.

        1. The fisherman's professional organization is very unhappy with the opening of the crab season. They were the ones to ask it be postponed till December. Fear that one case of bad crab or illness from eating same would do to commercial fishery what happened to the spinach business a year or two ago is haunting them. Why does Gov and DFG not listen to the experts is their question. Mine is: who ARE Gov and DFG listening to?

          6 Replies
          1. re: alfairfax

            Doesn't DFG consider themselves to be the experts?

            1. re: Xiao Yang

              The representative of the fishermen's association referred to DFG as "political hacks", so experts in something but not necessarily commercial crabbing.

              1. re: Xiao Yang

                as far as I know, (Unless something happened overnight that I have missed on the news) DFG has not tested the crabs for safety. Without testing to assure they are safe, how can anyone be an expert?

                The point about the juveniles being dead and the potential for a generation of crabs to be lost if not replenished is a convincing argument to me. Sigh. My friends from Phoenix who timed their trip to visit for crab season will be very disappointed...

                1. re: susancinsf

                  Your friends from Phoenix can head for Seattle, which is the real home of Dungeness crab to begin with.

                  1. re: susancinsf

                    Only 15% of the crabs being sold at market are from the Bay. Most are from pacific north of Seattle to Alaska. You will be able to find safe crab, just make sure to go to a reputable fish monger.

                    1. re: susancinsf

                      A couple points: DFG didn't close the crab fishery and doesn't actually have that authority. All that DFG did was follow the governor's order to determine which areas are effected by the oil spill. Testing crabs for safety is the department of health's job. It seems like if the fisherman's association really wanted the fishing season closed they could vote on that themselves (which I believe is what they are doing. Finally, just because crabbers call the DFG "political hacks" doesn't actually mean that they are.